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Jun 13th, 2008
Thick SOI susbtrate market: a 10% CAGR to 2012
In 2012, MEMS applications will account for 46% of the demand for thick-SOI wafers, representing a global market of over $115M
The term thick-SOI refers to a semiconductor substrate with an active, single-crystal silicon layer whose thickness exceeds 1µm. It lies on a buried oxide which is set on top of a silicon wafer carrier. This structure is widely used in MEMS and in Power Device electronics.
MEMS business is boosting thick-SOI demand thanks to the market dynamism of products such as accelerometers or gyroscopes, which are now widely used in numerous consumer products (cell-phones, game-pads, cameras…). MEMS-related activities are expected to drive more than 300,000 6” thick-SOI substrates in 2012.
Power electronics was the first sector with a need for thick-SOI: this technology was developed to design and manufacture some of the plasma TV (PDP) drivers ICs. As a result, the very high market penetration of plasma technology in large flat panel displays led to very rapid ramp-up in this segment. In 2006, about 200,000 6”-thick SOI wafers were processed. This being said, competition from LCD technology is currently reversing this trend: whereas the CAGR of thick-SOI PDP-related business was routinely above 25% in the past years, annual growth is forecasted to be only 6% after 2008.
The leading company in the thick-SOI wafer business is still SEH (J), followed by SUMCO (J).
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